“Some people called it louche (street argot was full of French in those days, French and jazz words: Freaky. Jiving.), but he breathed and lived Sangaterra – the Neighbourhood of the Bull – for a good half century. 

He was your quintessential Addis Ababa ‘y’arada lidj’ (a streetwise kid, the proverbial cool cat in the vernacular of the day), and he excelled in all the tricks of the game. 

You name it: gambling on carambola, the latest techniques in burglary and theft, dating and flirting legerdemain too. He spent his money like a millionaire one day, only to then survive with a fistful of coins for weeks on end. 

He was the neighbourhood’s love guru, dating expert, and go to negotiator for people who had lost irreplaceable Ids, along with their wallets and backpacks. 

He was respected and looked up to in those days. A chief organiser behind the village’s largest ekub, the saving club.”  

(Sammy Asfew was born in 1977 – in Sangaterra. This is an excerpt from his upcoming novel The Neighbourhood of the Bull)